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Lit Seminar Aims To Build Bridges Within Tamil Diaspora



Coimbatore, Jan 23- Tamil language has spread across the world over the centuries as traders and indentured labour travelled across land and sea to new countries. Even as they built the economies of those countries, these men and women nurtured their language.

A three-day international seminar of writers from the Tamil diaspora that began in the city on Monday aims to discuss the literature that the great Tamil diaspora has produced over the years.


Writers and delegates from more than 20 countries including Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China, Canada, UK and the US have gathered at the Dr NGP College of Arts and Science for the seminar organised by the Centre for Tamil Culture. N Maalan, convenor of the conference, said Tamil has ceased to be a local language. The language has spread to countries like Australia, Japan and Africa through the diaspora. “Throughout history, the natives who went from their motherland had to face severe torture and hardships. However, they found the time and opportunity to preserve their mother tongue.

The language helped the literature grow among those communities. We are trying to synergise the literature among the diaspora,” he said. The seminar could be the first such initiative other than those organised by the government or other official bodies, he said.

Writer and retired Tamil professor Sirpi Balasubramaniam said they will discuss how to make use of media, technology and education for the growth of literary movements among the diaspora. “Apart from the traditional print medium, use of modern media including visual and digital media is essential for the spread and development of the language. Such aspects need to be discussed systematically. This seminar will act as such a space,” he said.

Noted Tamil writer and academic, Cheran Rudramoorthy, who was forced to flee Sri Lanka to Canada during the war years, said that noted literary works are emerging from the diaspora. “Some of the good writers are from the diaspora,” he said, emphasising that the quality of literature cannot be questioned.

Like Tamils from Lanka, who could show their painful struggles through their literature, the diaspora in Malaysia and other places have been able to do so.

There are interesting new literary developments in these groups as well, he said. Interestingly, the Tamils in Africa, who are more isolated, have to be brought together, he said.

– Times Of India